Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, February 9th, 2022


Patrick CheuFebruary 23rd, 2022 at 5:47 pm

Hi Bobby, If 2N over 2D is 12-14,then with the same hand Jxx D and 15-17 you would bid 3N? Whereas 3D over 2D would ask N to bid 3N with QTX or Kx D?

bobbywolffFebruary 23rd, 2022 at 5:56 pm

Hi Everyone,

At least to me, the major fact to learn with today’s hand is a better knowledge of squeeze play which in time (mainly just playing and observing) will come naturally (especially to players with number’s talent) but not just what it takes but rather, how to go about it, and also what it might be for the defense to fend it off, by timing it better (here, while defending, not to take the 4th diamond trick, which in fact rectified the count for the declarer, (a necessary coup, and something he could not do for himself).

Sure, the learning of that doesn’t come naturally, but after carefully playing out an example hand (today is a good start) a thoughtful student of our beautiful game may begin to see what its about and then soon be able to both execute squeezes when able and then also not give declarer an advantage when available, by not defending properly.

Somewhat complicated and indeed, perhaps convoluted, but no doubt necessary for one, who can develop momentum, to quickly rise toward the top. Once learned, other necessary advances toward being an expert, start to become easier to grasp and retain.

Not really necessary for only casual bridge, but certainly so, for ambitious personalities.

bobbywolffFebruary 23rd, 2022 at 6:18 pm

Hi Patrick,

Since 2 diamonds by North is game forcing (4th suit) the advantage of 2NT rather than a jump to 3NT, allows partner to change the direction of that partnership with a different rebid.

Some experienced partnerships are definite with a difference between what 3NT might mean instead of 2NT (since 2NT would be forcing to game in all partnerships), with many playing 2NT just a recommendation for a final NT contract while a jump to 3NT is more of a final determination for partner to accept it (I have diamonds stopped so unless you are very distributional, I may have nothing necessarily extra in value, but please pass).

Jeff SFebruary 23rd, 2022 at 9:16 pm

Hi Bobby,

This hand is fascinating. I have a couple of questions about West’s play at trick 4. First, is West permitted to take a longer mid-hand pause here to consider the new information he has at hand before deciding whether or not to lay down the fourth diamond or would that be considered an ethical or etiquette breach? I don’t see that it would be an ethical breach – fast or slow, on a switch, South is probably going to place the last diamond with East and East will probably think it sits with South. But I am not sure. And from at etiquette standpoint, I am not sure if it would be considered bad form.

Second, SHOULD West be able to work out that the fourth diamond might be wrong-footed and find a switch?


jim2February 23rd, 2022 at 10:24 pm

West announced a 4-card diamond holding with the opening lead. East’s diamond plays are also very consistent with AQx. Thus, why would West NOT cash the 13th diamond? Would an entry-less West do that? What other entry is there other than the QC?

Note also that, especially if this were MPs, West risks South holding four clubs and the Q3 of hearts. Declarer would lay down the Q, see the 10 fall from East, and finesse the 9H into the safe hand. When that wins, the squeeze is back but now for 10 tricks instead of 9.

Hence, failing to cash the 13th diamond should make South quite suspicious.

bobbywolffFebruary 24th, 2022 at 2:15 am

Hi Jeff S,

It is never considered unethical nor even inappropriate for anyone to take an abnormal amount of time when some difficult reasoning

Yes, when one doesn’t immediately cash a good trick when it doesn’t set up anything of interest with his opponents, it sometimes is worth thinking about why. However, even though the above is unusual, all four players need to consider when and if they need to play on, even if they haven’t found the reason for the delay.

Without which our beloved game is done in, by others who mean well, but do not
contribute what they need to do, which is consideration for their worthwhile opponents.

No less, but no more! Yes, declarer should figure out why he did not cash his good diamond, but, if not, then later, well after that round is over, the declarer should consider what happened and learn from it.

bobbywolffFebruary 24th, 2022 at 2:25 am

Hi Jim2,

Thanks for your post, which in itself helps describe what might happen at the table. When you say it becomes suspicious (after the hesitation) that statement becomes an underbid.

However with your addiction to TOCM TM your deck of cards may be defective by only providing 12 diamonds with it.

jim2February 24th, 2022 at 3:26 am

or 14!